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Posted: 1/23/2006 8:17:03 PM EDT
Detractors kill immigrant loan program
WHEDA drops lending to the undocumented
Jennifer Batog
The Business Journal of Milwaukee
Jan. 22, 2006
msnbc.msn.com/id/10985222/
New legislation has required state housing officials to drop a program that some Republicans criticized because it helped banks provide home loans to undocumented immigrantsIllegals.

The program's detractors attached an amendment killing the program to the so-called modernization bill for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). The bill and amendment passed the state Assembly in November and the Senate in December. Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed the bill into law Dec. 21, 2005.

Banks can continue to serve undocumented immigrantsIllegals, but the program's end means it could be more difficult and costly for undocumented immigrants Illegals to obtain home loans. Banks also likely would make fewer loans to such borrowersIllegals.

The program's supporters said its elimination could hurt economic development in urban neighborhoods.

"It's going to have a devastating effect," said Maria Monreal-Cameron, president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.

The Immigrant Lending Program was a partnership among WHEDA, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. and 25 banks statewide. Participating banks included Associated Bank, Green Bay; Guaranty Bank, Brown Deer; and Mitchell Bank, Milwaukee.

Some lawmakers, including state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), felt the effort rewarded illegal immigrants and sent a message that Wisconsin didn't take immigration laws seriously. (DOH)

WHEDA closed 261 loans worth $29.5 million during the program which began in April 2004 and ended in December 2005. That represented about 5 percent of the agency's 2005 loans.

Political maneuver
The Doyle administration decided to give up the immigrant Illegals loan program in order to overhaul WHEDA.

The overall WHEDA modernization bill increases income limits for borrowers and raises the agency's bonding authority so it can support more economic development aid for small businesses and multifamily housing developers. The agency estimates those changes could result in a $500 million economic boost for Wisconsin.

"I don't think killing the modernization bill is the best way to help working families and grow the economy in Wisconsin," WHEDA executive director Antonio Riley said.

Under the Immigrant Lending Program, participating lenders could offer undocumented borrowers Illegals WHEDA's 30-year fixed mortgage product, which has an interest rate below market rates. That reduced down payments and made it easier for borrowers to avoid defaulting on the loan because they had a fixed payment.

A number of banks lend to undocumented borrowersIllegals, but usually use adjustable rate mortgages with higher interest rates. Undocumented people Illegals often are issued ITIN numbers, or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, so they can file tax returns and receive refunds. They do not have Social Security numbers.

Ending the loan program was regrettable, Riley said, but he added signs are emerging that the private sector may begin offering fixed-rate loans to undocumented people Illegals at conventional rates. The program also increased lenders' knowledge and understanding of how to underwrite and process loans for people without Social Security numbersIllegals, he said.

"We think that we've kind of helped the market to settle down around a better way to offer those mortgages," Riley said.

Neighborhood issues
Still, eliminating the effort undermines economic development in low-and moderate-income urban neighborhoods, said Monreal-Cameron. ImmigrantsIllegals are willing to buy homes in urban neighborhoods and renovate them, which adds to those areas' economic development, she said.

"It certainly is a shame that they've turned their backs on a program that would have certainly helped a new wave of immigrants Illegals," she said.

Grothman disagreed, saying the number of mortgage loans provided through WHEDA's effort was not enough to make a difference in an area's economic development.

"I think people who were in favor of the program were really making more of a political statement than an economic statement," he said.

MGIC insured mortgages obtained through the housing authority's program. The agency was one of the lenders participating in MGIC's "Building a Life in America" program, which insures mortgage loans for those without Social Security numbersIllegals, said Geoff Cooper of MGIC.

"While we're disappointed to see the program discontinued, it was an immaterial portion of our overall volume," he said.

Cooper declined to disclose the number of loans MGIC insured through the housing authority's program or its Building a Life program. WHEDA loans amounted to less than 10 percent of the Building a Life program, he said.

Mitchell Bank closed 40 mortgages totaling $3.4 million under WHEDA's program, said James Maloney, the bank's board chairman. None of those are delinquent.

The bank will continue to offer mortgages to people without Social Security numbersIllegals, but the process will be slower, interest rates will be higher and the type of home buyers can afford will be different, Maloney said. He noted that home ownership in the bank's near south side neighborhood is only about 20 percent. That was beginning to change with WHEDA's program, he said.

"The real disappointment is that we were making so much good progress in putting people in homes and they were actually fixing up the neighborhood," Maloney said. "It's shortsighted, but those are the political realities."

Rep. Steve Wieckert (R-Appleton) authored the legislation and voted for the amendment eliminating the program. He said modernizing WHEDA was too important to hold up because of one program. He noted that ending the program doesn't mean those with ITIN numbers cannot get loans -- it just means they can't use WHEDA's product.

The loan program's supporters could reintroduce the program in future legislation, Wieckert said.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:20:25 PM EDT
Who in the fuck would loan money to those filthy crooks to begin with?....Oh wait, every bank in the country, I almost forgot.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:39:27 PM EDT
They will pack 10 families into those houses in inhuman(illegal)conditions and charge them rent to pay those loans
And every one of those families will be on welfare and medicaid, driving new cars...............
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:42:17 PM EDT
Reading that makes my head explode but it drives home the basis for the whole "bend over and take it up the ass" mentality surrounding illegals... people are making money off this. Period. End Of Line.

The Government makes money, asshole criminal businesses people make money, the Mexicans send money back to Mexico that goes right into the Mexican economy.

Illegals have become the next sham, just like the War On (some) Drugs. There are too many people making too much money to actually stop it. There are dog and pony shows to keep the sheeple bamboozled but too many are getting a cut from this action and building power, influence and personal empires on the backs of illegals. They will fight tooth and nail to resist any actions that will stop this invasion.

The apologists in government fall all over themselves to claim that it's not *really* as bad as some think. Truly common sense ideas are derided as "impossible", "impractical", "too expensive". Those that *DARE* question the legal status of anyone are crucified on the spot as "xenophobic" or "racist" even though not a word of someones race or origin has been uttered, just the term "illegal".

This has always been in force to some degree but unchecked greed has won out over national sovereignty and national interests. Perot so underestimated the "giant sucking sound" that would come from NAFTA and the mindset that goes along with it. At this point a singularity couldn't suck more than the situation we find ourselves in and like all objects in the path of a black hole, there is only one outcome.

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